Get to Know EVO Bar Manager Jake Russell

Get to know the man behind your favorite cocktails, our own Bar Manager Jake Russell. Jake has been working for EVO for three years and is an essential part of the EVO team. Read on to learn more about him, from his favorite style of cocktails to what he likes to do on a day off.

What is your favorite dish on the menu?
“My favorite food item on the menu is the the meatballs. Juicy, tons of flavors, with just enough spice.”

When did you first start bartending?
“I've been bartending for 10 years. Mostly Italian style spots. I love wine and Italian food, but most of all I love the family culture.”

What is your favorite cocktail?
“I'm not a huge cocktail type guy. If I had to choose a favorite it would have to be an Old Fashioned. I love the classics. No fruit please, a little bourbon, sugar, and aromatic bitters (when properly diluted) and an expressed orange peel can go a long way.”

What is your favorite genre of music?
“My music preference is broad, I really like hardcore music. Comeback Kid is my favorite band.”

What do you like to do on a day off?
“My days off are spent with my family. Shooting hoop with the kids or getting dunked in my pool by my five year old. Day trips, I love driving.”

View our menu, cocktail and wine list here.
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Local Purveyor Spotlight: SanTan Brewing Company
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For this local purveyor spotlight we chose to showcase SanTan Brewing Company. Specializing in southwest-style ales, the local brewing company, based in Chandler, Arizona, is the state’s largest craft brewery.

About SanTan Brewery
Located in historic Downtown Chandler, SanTan Brewery first opened the doors to their brewery and pub in 2007. Anthony Canecchia, founder and Brewmaster, has been brewing beer professionally in the state since 1996. When he created SanTan he envisioned pairing craft beer with craft food, and that is precisely what he accomplished. SanTan churns out a variety of year-round and season brews, from stouts, ambers and gold-styles to IPAs, lagers and porters.

What Makes SanTan Brewery Unique?
Anthony and company have thrown out the idea that fine beer must be packaged in glass brown bottle. Instead, SanTan cans, not bottles, all of their beer in special water-based polymer cans, which eliminate metallic contamination. In fact, the three biggest enemies of beer are oxygen, light and heat; cans can eliminate two of these hazards. These aluminum cans are also a lot easier on the environment and have a smaller carbon footprint than their glass counterparts. SanTan encourages fans and beer drinkers to think of their cans as “mini kegs.”  

SanTan Brewery and EVO
At EVO we currently offer SanTan’s award-winning HefeWeizen. This Arizona wheat beer is a unique southwestern style that features notes of citrus, banana, lemon peel, and clove. It is the perfect beer to sip during Arizona's warmer months and pairs well with sweet dishes as well as a variety of fresh cheeses. Although wine may be the spirit of choice when feasting on a classic Italian meal, you might find that craft beer pairs just as well with the dishes you enjoy most at EVO.

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EVO is Great for Date Night, Here's Why
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Since our inception in 2013 we’ve won over the hearts of many; from industry professionals and late night diners to craft cocktail lovers and Italian food aficionados. EVO strives to serve the best food in a comfy cozy setting, whatever the occasion. As Valentine’s Day approaches, we’ve assembled a few reasons why EVO is great for date night.

Romantic Food is Our Speciality
What’s considered the most romantic cuisine? The experts at Zagat conducted a poll to find out, and the results are in! According to Zagat, the most romantic cuisine is Italian. Guests can get their fill of classics like Eggplant Ragout, EVO lasagna, charcuterie, housemade pastas, fresh-baked breads and more at EVO.

Our Menu Features Sharable Bites
There are a variety of shareable options on our menu, one of which is our recently-debuted bruschetta. Each board features three different options for $15. Our signature pizzas are also a fabulous sharing option. And don’t forget about dessert.

We Take Reservations
At EVO we always accept reservations. Contact us at the restaurant or book your reservation online to secure your own table.

We’re Offering a Special Valentine’s Day Menu
Chef Steven Fowler has crafted a special menu just for the holiday. This Valentine’s Day guests can enjoy a four course meal that features EVO classics such as crispy arancini, lobster carbonara, and red velvet cake. Our Valentine’s Day menu also showcases a few of our favorite wine pairings, too.

We Have an Extensive Wine List
Whether you’re looking to impress your date with your own wine knowledge or seeking to try something new, our wine selection offers no shortage of options to choose from. We offer a range of wines from all over, from Spain and France to California and Oregon.

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January Wine of the Month: 2014 Smokescreen "The Chemist" Paso Robles Red Blend
EVO Wine January 2018.jpg

Each month at EVO we feature a wine of the month. January's wine of the month comes from Paso Robles, a wine growing region in an area of California that has a higher day-to-night temperature swing than any other appellation in the state.

Located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Paso Robles is known mostly for its olive groves and its wineries situated in the rolling hills. The area’s distinct microclimates, diverse soils and long growing season make our wine of the month, 2014 Smokescreen “The Chemist” a Paso Robles Red Blend, rich and concentrated.

The best grapes from vineyards throughout Paso Robles are blended together to make this bold and complex wine. Aged in French Oak barrels, The Chemist is a full-bodied wine that has a ink-like purple blue color. Notes like dark berries, espresso, plum, mocha and graphite collectively open up in the glass and make for a silky finish.

Shiraz, grenache, mourvedre and petite sirah grapes all come together to make up this California red blend. The Chemist pairs well with beef, lamb, veal and poultry dishes, such as Chef Fowler’s signature Chicken Picatta or Steak Bruschetta with carpaccio, asparagus, creme de brie, aged balsamic and decadent truffle oil.  

How will you pair our wine of the month?

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3 Reasons to Consider Hosting Your Holiday Party at EVO

EVO holds a position near the top of the list when it comes to restaurants prime for celebrating special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. But we’re also a choice location for holiday parties, too. This season, consider hosting your event at our restaurant. Here are three reasons to consider EVO this holiday.

We’re Local
Locally owned and operated, we’re a neighborhood restaurant that is committed to the people and the community that surrounds us. When you enjoy a meal at EVO, you can dine knowing that you’re supporting the local culinary scene, local chefs and community business owners.

We Offer Pre-Set Seasonally-Driven Menus
Crafted by Chef Fowler, our pre-set and seasonally-driven menus give guests the opportunity to taste through a variety of Italian-influenced dishes.

At $25 per person, hosts can choose from the house salad, EVO salad or Caesar to start. Next, hosts can choose three varieties of pizza from a list that includes margherita, pepperoni, roasted funghi, prosciutto or vegetable. When it comes time for dessert, which is plated individually, guests can enjoy an Italian gelato hand selected by Chef Fowler.

Our $40 menu features the same three starter options and is complemented by the host’s choice of three entrees including the EVO burger, pork porterhouse milanese, chicken piccata, skillet lasagna or heirloom tomato spaghetti. The $40 option also includes the host’s choice of dessert, Italian gelato or our flourless chocolate torte.

Hosts who choose our $50 menu can choose two antipasti starters including steak bruschetta, handmade meatballs or arancini in addition to one salad selection, a choice of Caesar or the EVO salad. Hosts can select three entrees from a list that includes Chef’s shrimp fettuccine, pork porterhouse milanese, chicken piccata, skillet lasagna, eggplant parmesan fettuccine or fennel sausage. Hosts can choose one dessert including the Nutella cannoli, flourless chocolate torte or Italian gelato.

The EVO Experience
Born from the memories of his own childhood experiences in Milan and Rome, our owner Nick Neuman opened EVO to bring a taste of Italian dining and hospitality to The Valley. With recipes authentic to the Northern and Central regions of Italy, our menu seamlessly showcases a perfect balance of simple yet robust flavors in dishes that combine the freshest and highest-quality ingredients available for the season. EVO also offers a wine list that features a selection from varying locations and regions, local craft beer and barrel-aged spirits for those who are so inclined.

For more information, and to book your next party, please contact our events director, Elise Lawrence by phone at (480) 265-9814 or by email at

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Local Purveyor Spotlight: Danzeisen Dairy

Here at EVO we believe that local ingredients are the best ingredients and we attempt to source as many of our ingredients from local or regional purveyors as possible. That’s why we have partnered with a handful of Arizona makers and growers. One of our various local partnerships is with Danzeisen Dairy.

About Danzeisen Dairy
Danzeisen Dairy is a Laveen-based family farm that has been in operation for over 50 years. Located just 10 miles from Downtown Phoenix, the Arizona dairy was the first dairy in the state to offer glass bottles to local grocers. Dairy has been a family business for generations on the farm. Neil and Gertrude Viss, the original founders and grandparents of the owners today, started it all when they moved to Arizona from Southern California in 1959. In 1967 they built another dairy less than a mile east of their first. Their oldest daughter Gail met and married Clayton Danzeisen. The two started a family and together they have four children and thirteen grandchildren. Kevin, the oldest of the four kids, is currently the general manager of dairy operations, and Brett, the third son, is in charge of harvest and transportation for the dairy.

What Makes Danzeisen Dairy Unique?
The dairy is home to Swiss and Holstein cows that are milked three times daily. All of the cows on the farm are heifers which are fed an alfalfa-based diet that’s free of growth-hormones, and all calves are raised on the farm. Danzeisen Dairy is passionate about the work that they do and operates with the highest integrity to ensure that their family business is passed onto future generations. The dairy farm values freshness, and as a result Danzeisen Dairy has flourished.

Danzeisen Dairy and EVO
When it comes to Italian cooking, for some dishes quality dairy is key. We’re fortuitous to have a partnership with Arizona’s first local dairy. This partnership ensures that we have the freshest ingredients possible and we’re happy to know that Danzeisen Dairy uses sustainable practices, such as bottling in glass, and is committed to providing the best local dairy that Arizona has to offer.

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5 Dishes to Celebrate National Pasta Day on October 17

At EVO we believe that life is a combination of magic and pasta. So it’s only natural that we will be celebrating National Pasta Day on October 17. We use recipes true to the Northern and Central regions of Italy, and Chef Steven Fowler works to perfect just the right balance simple yet robust flavors. These are our pasta picks, selected right from our menu.

Squid Ink Chitarra
A medley of shrimp, mussels, calamari and seasoned with scallions, saffron butter and Calabrian chile, our delicious Squid Ink Chitarra unifies a cornucopia of the freshest and most flavorful ingredients available, best enjoyed on National Pasta Day, or any day, really.

Heirloom Tomato
A true Italian classic, our Heirloom Tomato dish is comprised of a few simple ingredients, including spaghetti, housemade marinara, fresh basil and parmesan cheese. But don’t let its lack of complexity fool you. This dish is full of Italian flavor.

Seafood Cioppino
Texture and flavor truly come together in this pasta dish. Chef Fowler’s Seafood Cioppino, which in Italian translates to “little soup,” is made up of a host of surprising ingredients including squid ink pasta and seafood standouts like shrimp, mussels, calamari, and our seasonal fish, all of which play exceptionally well with the dishes’ savory tomato broth and shallots.  

Shrimp Fettuccine
In this pasta dish, jumbo shrimp are layered atop fettuccine. Ingredients like red bell pepper and pine nuts are used to round out the dish. Finally, the pasta plate is finished with Chef’s tasty pesto alfredo.

You’ll want to “gobble up” this pasta dish in no time. After all, its main ingredient, pappardelle, derives from the verb “pappare” which means to “gobble up.” The large, flat pasta noodles partner with veal, pork and beef. Tomato ragu, basil, herbs and grana padano, a hard, slow-ripened cheese from Italy, are used to finish off the dish.

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Arizona Restaurant Week Is Returning, Here's a Taste of What We're Offering

Arizona Restaurant Week is back, and we’re happy to announce that we will be participating in this season’s week-long culinary event. Happening September 15 through 24, this culinary showcase puts some of Arizona’s top foodie talent on display. Our own Chef Fowler and his back-of-house team will be cooking up some of our most iconic dishes for this special event, which will be available on our three course, $44 prix fixe menu.

EVO Salad
While salads aren’t typically the stars of the show when it comes to Italian dining, our EVO Salad is the exception to the rule. A crowd favorite, this iconic salad features crispy Brussels sprouts, dried kale, pancetta, pears, goat cheese and is finished with a drizzle of savory balsamic.

Squid Ink Chitarra
A medley of robust and bold flavors, our Squid Ink Chitarra is a classic entree that never ceases to appease the palate. This dish is comprised of shrimp, mussels and calamari, as well as ingredients that bring flavor to the forefront including scallions, saffron butter and Calabrian chile.

Brown Butter Baby Cake
Carefully baked to order, our Brown Butter Baby Cake makes a fine finale to any meal enjoyed at EVO. Prepared with vanilla creme anglaise and topped with chantilly and fresh red raspberries, this dessert worth-sharing is a sweet conclusion to a hearty Italian meal.  

Arizona Restaurant Week brings together a variety of diverse culinary menus from across the central and southern areas of the state of Arizona. Its mission is to position Arizona as one of the top culinary destinations in the country by increasing the awareness of the plethora of dining opportunities and talent local chefs and restaurateurs throughout the region.

We sincerely look forward to serving you!

View our entire menu Arizona Restaurant Week menu here.

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4 Dishes to Celebrate National Bacon Lover’s Day on August 20

Lately it seems like there’s a “National Day” for almost everything. But there is one of these days that we take more seriously than the rest -- National Bacon Lover’s Day. At EVO, we fancy ourselves bacon lovers. And if you do, too, we’re just the restaurant for you. Here are four tempting dishes where bacon plays a supporting role.

Pancake Fried Bacon Strips
Available each Sunday on our Brunch After Dark menu, this hefty helping of house cured pork belly is fried up in savory pancake batter and is sure to satisfy all of your breakfast cravings at once.

Lobster Carbonara
Gnocchi, lobster and pancetta, an Italian-style bacon made from cured pork belly meat, come together to make this epic dinnertime dish. While the lobster is undoubtedly the star of the show, the rich pancetta plays a valuable supporting role in bringing all of the unique flavors together.

Caprese Benedict
Like our Pancake Fried Bacon Strips, this Brunch After Dark item is only available on Sunday evenings. But lucky for you, National Bacon Lover’s Day just so happens to fall on a Sunday this year. Enjoy this dish, with AZ farm eggs, hollandaise, buttermilk biscuits, tomato jam, basil, mozzarella and of course crispy pancetta to celebrate.

EVO Salad
Topped with craveable crispy brussels sprouts, pine nuts, pear and drizzled with balsamic, the EVO Salad shines for each and every one of its delectable components, especially the appetizing pancetta that is sprinkled on top. It is no wonder this salad is a guest favorite.

We look forward to serving you on National Bacon Lover’s Day!

View our entire menu here.
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Local Purveyor Spotlight: Queen Creek Olive Mill
EVO Olive Oil

Here at EVO we believe that local ingredients are the best ingredients and we attempt to source as many of our ingredients from local or regional purveyors as possible. That’s why we have partnered with a handful of Arizona makers and growers. One of our partnerships is with Queen Creek Olive Mill.

About Queen Creek Olive Mill

Based in the East Valley, Queen Creek, The Olive Mill took root here in Arizona in the late 1990s with 1,000 olive trees planted on 100 acres and a farm shed. Co-owner, Masterblender and Olive Oil Sommelier, Perry Rhea set out to make extra virgin olive oil, right here in Arizona after moving to The Valley of the Sun with his family, including his four kids and wife with a baby on the way, from Detroit, Michigan after discovering Arizona’s rich farming potential and abundant olive trees.

Today, Queen Creek Olive Mill has over 7,000 olive trees on site and is currently growing 16 different varieties. The farm also serves as a unique agritourism experience for locals and travelers alike, as Queen Creek Olive Mill offers tours, tastings and other experiences and events.

What Makes Queen Creek Olive Mill Unique?

Aside from being the only olive mill in the Copper State, 100 percent of Queen Creek Olive Mill products are certified to International Olive Council standards. And, Perry and his wife Brenda are two of 20 olive oil sommeliers in the world, after earning their certifications in 2013.

Olive Oil and EVO

When it comes to Italian cooking, olive oil is essential. We’re lucky to have a partnership with Arizona’s only working olive oil farm and mill. This partnership ensures that we have the freshed olive oils possible and we’re happy to know that Queen Creek Olive Mill uses sustainable practices and grows their olive crop without the use of pesticides.

View our entire menu here.
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6 Ways to Enjoy National Seafood Month at EVO

Italian fare and seafood are a match made in culinary heaven, the two go hand-in-hand. And what better way to enjoy National Seafood Month than with our fresh takes on traditional Italian-inspired seafood cuisines? Celebrate with us throughout the month of June with these six dishes.

Lobster Carbonara
Not your traditional carbonara dish, our Lobster Carbonara is made with gnocchi, pork belly pancetta and sprinkled with parmesan and black pepper. Of course, we can’t forget the star of this dish, fresh lobster tail.

Spicy Mussels
Found on within the antipasti section of our menu, our spicy mussels are made with a Southern Italian twist. The Calabrian-style mussels are prepared in a bath of white wine, shallots, garlic, butter and served alongside parmesan truffle fries.

Calamari Diavolo
This classic Italian dish, served with ciabatta, features soft squid rings drenched in a delectable spicy Italian arrabbiata sauce, made from tomatoes, garlic and red chili peppers.

Seafood Cioppino
Flavors and textures combine in this dish. At EVO our Seafood Cioppino, or also referred to as “little soup” when translated to Italian, is comprised of surprising ingredients like squid ink pasta, and seafood favorites like shrimp, mussels, calamari, and our seasonal fish, all of which play well with tomato fume, a savory tomato broth, and flavorsome shallots.  

Shrimp Fettuccine
In this dish, jumbo shrimp are nestled nicely on a delicious bed of fettuccine, red bell pepper and pine nuts, all of which are complemented perfectly with Chef’s tasty pesto alfredo.

Squid Ink Chitarra  
Comprised of shrimp, mussels, calamari and seasoned with scallions, saffron butter and Calabrian chile, our Squid Ink Chitarra combines a medley of fresh, flavorful ingredients, best enjoyed during Seafood Month, or anytime, really.

View our entire menu here.

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5 Favorites from Our Brunch After Dark Menu

Each Sunday we turn your typical brunch upside down with our Brunch After Dark. At EVO, we’re open late. Our kitchen is open until 1:30am for your brunching pleasure. And just because it’s dark out shouldn’t mean you can’t get your favorite brunch standbys. These are our favorites.

Pork & Waffles
Move over chicken and waffles, there’s a new favorite in town. Vanilla-braised pork belly is layered atop fluffy brown butter pecan waffles to make this dish. This brunch favorite is drizzled with a sweet bourbon maple syrup and piled high with peach chutney. Is it dessert? Is it brunch? Whatever it is, it’s delicious.

Crunchy peanut butter, banana marshmallow fluff and house jam come together between two slices of country white bread to make this brunch staple. It’s our take on the traditional Monte Cristo, with a few tasty changes, of course. And that sweet sticky stuff? That’s the bourbon maple syrup.

Breakfast Pizza
Pizza is a good choice. No matter what time of day, which is why this Brunch After Dark dish is one of our favorites. Our breakfast pizza combines roasted tomatoes, dressed arugula, crispy fingerling potatoes and Arizona farm eggs which makes for a sharable, late night snack.

Caprese Benedict
This dish is our take on the classic eggs benedict with an Italian-inspired, EVO-twist. Two farm eggs are placed atop of buttermilk biscuits layered with crispy pancetta, tomato jam, basil, mozzarella and of course, hollandaise.

Pancake Fried Bacon Strips
Because everything is better fried. Fill up on our pancake fried bacon strips, made with house cured pork belly, pancake batter and sweet, sweet bourbon maple syrup. Add an egg to your order round out this brunch dish. All of our local eggs are served poached.

View the Brunch After Dark menu here.

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What is Farro, Anyway?

You’ve likely seen it on our menu. But what is it? Farro is a type of hulled-wheat that has been cultivated for centuries. In fact, Farro, translated in Italian, means ancient grains.

Farro Roots
This hulled-wheat originated in the Fertile Crescent centuries ago. Farro has been found the world-over, anywhere from the tombs of ancient Egyptian kings to Italy’s Rome -- historians have said that it is thought to have sustained the Roman Legions. But in recent years this ancient grain has experienced a resurgence in popularity both in the chef’s kitchen and at the grocery store.

Why Farro Is Suited for Italian Food
These ancient grains are packed with fiber, more than brown rice and quinoa, as well as vitamins and minerals including magnesium, iron and B3. Its nutty, almost cashew-like, and earthiness flavor makes it great for use in salads, soups, risottos, and sides of the Italian variety. At EVO, farro pairs nicely with our pistachio-crusted salmon.

Cooking with Farro
Whole grain farro can prove to be challenging to cook with. When preparing this grain at home, it is essential to soak your farro overnight before you begin the cooking process. This simple trick can make the farro softer, and more palatable. Without the overnight bath your grains will feel more have a palatableness that is more similar to popcorn kernels than pillowy, hearty grains at dinner. For a quicker cooking process, look for semipearled farro. In this variety, some of the bran has been removed with makes the grain softer, thus, easier to cook with.

Foods trends come and go. But this ancient grain has been around for centuries. Its rise in popularity today goes to show that it’s a solid cooking staple that will be around for many more years to come. How will you cook with this ancient grain?

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